Japanese knotweed: Phil Spencer discusses plant
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From garden fences to outdated decor, elements of our outdoor spaces can be a turn off for prospective buyers, and according to previous research by the house-selling experts at The Advisory, house hunters take just 10 seconds to decide if they like a property, so your garden could make or break a house sale. In a new study conducted by Faraway Furniture, they found that Japanese knotweed can knock the price of your property down by 10 percent; an un-manicured lawn can knock one to two percent off the sale value; and large outdoor water features can lose you £2,000 to £8,000 off the sale price.
John Graham, owner of Dwell Estate and Letting Agents and Tom Scarborough, CEO of Movewise, have revealed the garden features most likely to devalue your home.
Tom said: “A garden is one of the most desired features of a house, but there are so many potential issues for future owners that some of the most common issues could lead to a significant price reduction, or a sale can be lost altogether.”
Seven garden features that devalue a property
1. Japanese knotweed
Last year, an investigation conducted by MPs in the UK found that the invasive plant, Japanese knotweed, has been wrongly decreasing the value of properties with banks being “overly cautious” about the topic – so it comes as no surprise that it has made the top of the list.
The weed, which can spread rapidly and uncontrollably, is known for putting buyers off from purchasing a property.
In fact, John discovered that a buyer can argue the price of the property down by 10 percent if it has previously had knotweed growing. Depending on its size, it can cost between £5,000-£20,000 to have it professionally removed.
2. Artificial grass
Artificial grass might be a low-maintenance option, but it can be off-putting to potential buyers – especially to those with young children.
Replacing it with natural grass can cost around £150 per square metre, so many buyers prefer to avoid it. John found that sellers could be looking at a five percent reduction in the sale value if a garden has artificial grass.
3. Outdoor water features
Large water features could also be negatively affecting your property value in some cases by thousands of pounds.
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While they are great for attracting bees, butterflies and birds, some buyers see water features as more work to maintain.
They can also take up a significant area in a garden, require ongoing maintenance leading to ongoing costs, and for most families they are seen as a safety issue especially for those with young children.
According to John, large water features could be negatively affecting your property value by £2,000 to £8,000.
4. A messy, unkept garden
Most buyers don’t want to do much work themselves, so an unkept garden that hasn’t been given any TLC could also knock one to two percent off your asking price, John found.
Keeping your outdoor space beautifully presented is a great way to attract buyers to your property. In fact, according to a previous study by Axa Insurance, well-kept gardens can help to boost the value of a property by £2,000.
Taking the time to keep your garden neat and tidy will certainly win you some extra points.
5. Broken fence panels and cracked walls
Fences don’t come cheap, which is why most house-hunters look for a property with one that isn’t broken. In fact, research by Tom showed that broken fence panels or cracked walls can remove £1,000 from the value of your house.
Fences or walls add a sense of privacy to the home, keeping children safe and wild animals out. Without them, a garden doesn’t feel like the place of seclusion it should be. Looking to sell your house? Time to get that fence fixed first.
6. Swimming pools or hot tubs
While these are favoured by many in the summer months, Tom discovered that buyers are often reluctant to purchase a property with a swimming pool as they can cost an estimated £2,737 to maintain every year.
It can also be off-putting for those with young children as they feel it can be unsafe for little ones running around.
7. Outdated garden decor
Outdated garden decor is also another feature that could negatively affect your property value. According to Tom, it can cost an average of £3,950 to redo an outdated garden, which could potentially be taken off your final selling price.
While this of course is all down to personal taste, garden furniture is not updated as much as other areas in the home, meaning it can often end up feeling dated.
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